By Rob Patrick
Photos by Kevin Nagle
Using some withering full-court pressure, the Bryant Hornets freshman team bounced back from[more] a disappointing loss at Conway with a 43-22 thumping of the Cabot South Junior Panthers at the Bryant Middle School gym on Monday night.
J.C. Newborn scored 12 of his game-high 17 points in the first half, mostly right at the rim, as the Hornets piled up a 30-12 halftime lead. K.J. Hill added 13 points all in the first and third quarters.
The Hornets only allowed 2 points in the third period as they blew the game up, building a 40-14 advantage.
“It was like Conway never happened,” said Hornets assistant coach Greg Haugh. “We had good practices. I’m real proud of them stepping up tonight with the absence of Coach (Jim) Pennington and they played their game like nothing ever happened.”
Pennington was serving a one-game suspension after receiving two technical fouls at Conway and being ejected.
“We executed well on offense,” Haugh noted. “When we pressed them, they did exactly what we wanted them to, threw the ball away. When we played our zone at the beginning, they didn’t shoot from the outside. When we played our man, they threw the ball away too.”
Cabot South turned the ball over 17 times in the game but the percentage of those, particularly the 14 they suffered over the first three quarters, that were turned into points was high.
The Panthers’ lone lead was 2-0 on a game-opening basket by post player Brett Frazier, who would lead his team with 8 points. Hill knocked down a 3-pointer to get Bryant going and when he fed Brandan Warner for a basket moments later, the Hornets were ahead to stay.
After Cabot’s Heath Hutton scored inside, the Hornets opened it up with a layup by Hill off a feed from Newborn. Following a turnover, John Winn knocked down a 15-footer. Newborn made a steal and Hill slipped a feed to Ryan Hall for a layup to make it 11-4.
Frazier hit a pair of free throws — the first two of just five attempts in the entire game between the two teams — then Hill fed Newborn for a layup then made a steal and a layup himself. Newborn’s scored off another theft to make it 17-6.
Hutton interrupted with a short jumper but Newborn broke loose for a layup that he nearly dunked, giving Bryant a 19-8 lead going into the second quarter.
Newborn scored the first 6 points of the second period for the Hornets. The first came off an offensive rebound. After Frazier scored, Hill fed Newborn for a layup. Warner made a steal and Newborn cashed in to make it 25-10.
Warner drove for a basket and hit a 3 after that and the Hornets had their 18-point halftime advantage.
Hill and Frazier traded baskets to start the second half but then the Hornets put together an 11-0 run that enabled Haugh to clear the bench. It was 43-14 after a three-point play off yet another steal by Newborn with 4:38 left in the game.
Cabot South, working against the Bryant reserves, closed out the contest with an 8-0 run.
For the game, only eight fouls were called. Bryant out-rebounded Cabot South, 20-10.
The Hornets, now 6-2, return to action on Thursday at North Little Rock.
JUNIOR HORNETS 43, JUNIOR PANTHERS 22
Score by quarters
Cabot South 8 4 2 8 — 22
BRYANT 19 11 10 3 — 43
JUNIOR PANTHERS 22
T.Hill 0-4 0-0 0, Ferguson 0-0 0-0 0, Rogers 3-4 0-0 6, Hutton 3-5 0-2 6, Frazier 3-6 2-2 8, McEzenak 0-1 0-0 0, Maness 1-2 0-0 2, Null 0-1 0-0 0, Henscher 0-0 0-0 0, Bowers 0-0 0-0 0, Van Oss 0-1 0-0 0, Pouncey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-24 2-4 22.
JUNIOR HORNETS 43
K.Hill 6-7 0-0 13, Warner 3-6 0-0 7, Winn 2-8 0-0 4, Newborn 8-12 1-1 17, Hall 1-2 0-0 2, Withers 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 0-0 0-0 0, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Fisher 0-1 0-0 0, Buffington 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-35 1-1 43.
Three-point field goals: Bryant 2-6 (Warner 1-2, K.Hill 1-1, Winn 0-3), Cabot South 0-3 (T.Hill 0-2, Van Oss 0-1). Rebounds: Bryant 20 (Winn 6, K.Hill 5), Cabot South 10 (Frazier 3). Turnovers: Bryant 11, Cabot South 17. Team fouls: Bryant 5, Cabot South 3.